Five Things Air Travelers Should be Thankful For


Just a couple of years ago, it was crisis time for the airlines as several disappeared from the radar. Carriers including ATA, Skybus and Aloha joined fabled names like TWA, Pan Am and Eastern in extinction. It wasn't a matter of if but which airline would be next.

Fortunately, the airlines buckled down and with a combination of fuel hedging, capacity cutbacks and survival pricing, they stayed in the game, which is great for us frugal fliers since more airlines means more competitive pricing.

And as global tourist Farnoosh Brock told me recently, "Air travel shrinks the world like no other mode of transportation." The Cary, N.C.-based travel blogger added, "It affords us the ability to see places and meet people not possible a century ago." Sometimes, it's good to take a moment to appreciate some of the marvels of modern living.

And naturally, marvels of modern living include -- bathrooms.

#5: Airlines Still Have Free Toilets

Yes, despite all the yammering by anything-to-save-a-buck airlines like Ryanair, none has yet had the audacity to install pay toilets. Kind of pathetic to be grateful for something so basic, but I've become a little jaded.

After all, now that Spirit makes you pay for water or a Diet Coke, plus a fee for a carry-on (as much as $45 each way), who knows what's next?

We may not have much these days; we may be subjected to excruciating pat-downs at security and we may be forced to pay unreasonable sums for cardboard sandwiches and we may have to tote our own blankets and pillows onboard, but…

We still have free restrooms. And on that note -- Happy Thanksgiving, and safe travels.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and does not reflect the opinion of ABC News.

Rick Seaney is one of the country's leading experts on airfare, giving interviews and analysis to news organizations that include ABC News, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, the Associated Press and Bloomberg. His website,, offers consumers free, new-generation software, combined with expert insider tips to find the best airline ticket deals.

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